Movie Reviews

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

hitmans-wifes-bodyguard-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Patrick Hughes

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, Gary Oldman, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Blake Ritson

Plot: Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is on sabbatical after the events of the first movie, he’s taken a vacation in Capri (like the pants) and he’s given up guns. That all comes crashing down on him very quickly when Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) turns up, guns blazing, to recruit him to help free Sonia’s captured husband Darius (Samuel L. Jackson).

My Thoughts: These big movie releases are really sneaking up on me. It felt like winter and lockdown 3 were never going to end and now here we are, slap bang in the middle of summer! It’s always good to see Ryan Reynolds on the big screen though, even if the movie isn’t good I know I’m in for some fun. Which, as it turns out, is exactly how last night panned out for me. The original Hitman’s Bodyguard movie was decent, but nothing new, and this sequel is…eh. The plot sucks, let me be blunt. It’s textbook comedy/crime/action down to the letter, but the main trio make it worth it.

You’ll be bitterly disappointed if you were hoping for a clever storyline with some jaw-dropping action scenes, but if you’re up for an hour and a half of Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson kicking ass and being sarcastic a$$holes, then this is the movie for you. Ryan Reynolds gets to be his usual sarcastic self, Samuel L. Jackson gets to say his favourite ‘M’ word at least a dozen times, and Salma Hayek is surprisingly the biggest potty mouth of them all, and they have great chemistry together. I would actually be up for a third movie if it ever happened just for them.

It’s a shame that the plot sucked, but I wouldn’t trade the humour for a better storyline. The movie doesn’t try to be anything more than a fun night at the cinema with a bucket of popcorn. It follows that stereotypical kidnap, revenge, someone you thought was good turned out to be bad, heroes save the day business. All in all, worth a watch if you know what to expect!

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Best Bit: Ryan Reynolds just has no shame, does he? I laughed so hard when his character got thrown into a giant wall of Aviation gin (his own company, if you didn’t already know). I was expecting references to Wrexham Football Club and Mint Mobile to come next. Or did they happen and I just missed them?

Worst Bit: So, when The Change-Up (2011) was released, it was my favourite comedy ever for a long time and I watched it a lot. I mean, A LOT. So much so that Alan Arkin will now forever be known as Ryan Reynolds’ Dad in my mind. So you can imagine my excitement when the mystery built over who Michael Bryce’s father was! The actual reveal was even better though, Ii have to admit.

Fun Trivia: Ryan Reynolds has said of being slapped around in this movie: “In Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, I’m slapped in the face twice by Salma Hayek and once by Samuel L. Jackson. For the record, it was Salma who didn’t pull the punches. Not even once. I can still feel the sharp sting of her tiny hand working its way into my soft Hollywood cheekbones. May God have mercy on her soul.”

My Rating: 3 out of 5 guns that Michael will absolutely not touch, because he’s on sabbatical!

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Movie Reviews

The Woman in the Window (2021)

the-woman-in-the-window-poster-movieDirector: Joe Wright

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Main Cast: Amy Adams, Fred Hechinger, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Jeanine Serralles, Anthony Mackie, Maria Bozeman

Plot: Anna (Amy Adams) lives alone in her New York home as she suffers terribly from agoraphobia, rendering her unable to go outside. Whilst spying on her neighbours she witnesses an awful act of violence, but not everything is as it seems.

My Thoughts: Well, I suppose if there’s one thing to learn from this movie, and it’s don’t name your movie by describing where the female character is! The majority hated The Girl on the Train (2016) and they don’t seem thrilled by The Woman in the Window, either. General consensus seems to be that the books they are based on are incredible, but not the movies. Truth be told, I enjoyed both! I’m a sucker for a bit of mystery, and I guess for Amy Adams too. I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch and making your own mind up.

It’s taken the Hitchcock classic Rear Window (1954), made it more modern and thrown in the confusion of having an unreliable narrator. I only need two things from a movie like this, for it to be engaging enough to keep me interested throughout, and to have a killer twist that I didn’t see coming. And this is why I like it – it did both! If you’ve read the book but hated the movie then I get it, if things have been changed and characters weren’t portrayed right, that’s fair enough. I’d be interested to know how similar the endings were, as that was the only part I wasn’t a fan of.

In fact, I’ve read the boo can you let me know in the comments? Because I’ve got a million questions! Is the ending the same? Does Anna have a tenant in the book? Were there any characters missing/added? Of course, I could just read the book for myself. I guess at the end of the day what I’m trying to say is I either have a terrible taste in Amy Adams movies, or you should take the negative reviews with a pinch of salt.

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Best Bit: It amuses me no end to see actors appear in a movie from a TV show that I’ve watched recently, so you can imagine my glee when both Wyatt Russell and Anthony Mackie showed up in this after I recently finished watching Falcon and the Winter Soldier!

Worst Bit: I won’t elaborate for obvious reasons, but I wasn’t a fan of the ending. Not so much what actually happened, but just how it did. It felt a bit cheap and more like something I’d find in a horror movie released in January, you know?

Fun Trivia: As this movie does share quite a number of plot elements of Rear Window (1954), as well as contain many Hitchcock-inspired film gimmicks, the director winks at the audience at the beginning of the film by a slow pan past a monitor displaying several frames of Raymond Burr choking Jimmy Stewart from Rear Window (1954).

My Rating: 4 out of 5 bits of post that, if aren’t addressed to you, you should not open!

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Movie Awards

LAMB Devours the Oscars 2021: Best Actor in a Leading Role

This year’s awards season is just going on forever, isn’t it? Roll on a bit of movie normality, I say! Last year I wrote a small piece for The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Bloggers) about the Best Lead Actor category at the Oscars, and I was thrilled when Rob got in touch to say that category was still free this year! 2021 is such an incredible year for the Lead Actors. Firstly, the diversity! We love to see it. Secondly, the combined talent of these 5 men is astronomical! Let’s break it down, shall we?

Gary Oldman – Mank

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Now, I might not be a professional critic but I like to make an effort to at least know what I’m talking about. I have to be honest, I find nothing appealing about Mank at all but I’m watching it as I write this in order to give a biased opinion. Gary Oldman is an actor who always gives 100% but if the noise on social media is anything to go by, he’s not in the running to win this year.

Anthony Hopkins – The Father

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The Father was my most recent watch and I think my heart is still hurting from it. My full review will be posted next week but wow, all I can say is believe the hype! Anthony Hopkins plays a character suffering from dementia and struggling to understand what is real and it’s so incridibly easy to sympathise with him. His final scene is his stand-out moment and he played it so well it’s a scene I don’t think I can ever bring myself to watch again.

Steven Yeun – Minari

Steven-Yeun-Minari

Argh, 2020 might have been a bit disappointing for movies generally, but we sure got a handful of gems from it, didn’t we? I didn’t expect Minari to capture my heart in the way that it did, and although that’s largely thanks to Supporting Actress Yuh-Jung Youn, I can’t ignore Steven Yeun. He plays a father desperately trying to create a better life for his family and whilst it’s a quiet and nuanced role, it can’t be ignored.

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

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Can I get a YAAAAAAS for Riz Ahmed? Sound of Metal is growing on me every day that I think about it. I didn’t rave about it after I first watched it but Riz blew me away. Ever since Nightcrawler (2014) I knew he was destined for greatness, and here we are! As much as I would love for him to take the Oscar I don’t think he will – but he stands a decent chance at the BAFTA this weekend I reckon,

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

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Whenever I think about Chadwick or Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom I hope that his passing was a bad dream. He was taken away so, so early and right at the height of his acting career. Before I’d seen his performance as Levee, the dark cynic in me had to wonder if there was a certain level of sympathy behind his nomination, but after watching the movie twice I can say without a shadow of a doubt that isn’t the case. Chadwick absolutely owns this movie and I would argue it’s more Levee’s story than Ma Rainey’s. I don’t think it’s set in stone, but I do think that he’ll win.

Movie Reviews

Review: Darkest Hour (2018)

darkest-hour-movie-review-2018Every year when it comes to Awards Season, there’s always that one movie that I just can’t bring myself to watch. I’ll groan at the very thought of it, but I really try to watch at least the nominated Best Picture movies. Boyhood is the exception. I still can’t face that. Anyway, this year’s movie for me is Darkest Hour. I’d honestly rather watch the terrible alien/sci-fi movie by almost the same name, but I know if I save it till last I’ll never watch it at all, so I sucked it up!

I don’t do history, I don’t do war and I most certainly don’t do politics, and Darkest Hour is all of these. It is essentially a retelling of Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister of the UK in the middle of World War II, making the impossible decision whether to make terms with Hitler or fight to the bitter end.

Honestly, this movie just wasn’t for me. I loved Dunkirk (2017) because despite it being a war movie, it showed purely the action side of things. I mean, at least this was a more fun way of learning about World War II than sitting in my actual history lessons back in school? I’ll give it this though, Gary Oldman as Churchill is nothing short of amazing. He is completely unrecognisable, and brought so much life to the role.

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Speaking of which, shout out to Ben Mendelsohn! He’s such a chameleon, that’s why I love him. I’ve seen him play a space nazi, a down on his luck gambling addict and now a British king, and every role seems to come so naturally to him. I’m so looking forward to seeing him in Ready Player One later this year!

So seeings as I’m going to really struggle to talk about this one, let me tell you the character I identified the most with, Elizabeth Layton, played by Lily James. Poor girl is a typist for the grumpiest bloke ever, and it’s not easy when he’s changing his mind on words and shouting! It reminded me of my first boss who I did a lot of admin for. He’d stand right behind me and dictate what he wanted me to type, which is incredibly difficult for a nervous dyslexic like me! Even the best of us can’t type with someone breathing down their neck.

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I can appreciate Darkest Hour for it’s performances, and I’m sure it’ll do well at the BAFTAs next month. It’s just really not my cup of tea. I know it’s a well made, well acted movie, but I rate my reviews on a mix of that and also how much I enjoyed it, and so that’s why this gets 3 out of 5 ‘V for Victory’ signs from me.

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